Hello. I created an account in 2006 but I stopped playing Eve because of its difficulty specially playing alone. I month ago I started playing again with some friends and as an indie game developer I’m very happy of playing it right now. The game is a pearl, because of the game balance in every aspect, the design and the multiplayer experience.
What’s the problem:
Well the idea of politics is a change and expansion of the current standing and faction system. In a game where everything comes and goes from and to players, NPC trade is not very logical. It is in an empty game, where lonely players must buy and sell stuff from someone, but as soon as there is a huge market mantained by players, NPC market begins to be unrealistic and unnecessary, or at least unimportant. I’m not talking about removing them, i’m talking about improving and giving some sense to them. Specially if we talk about missions. I love PvE when i’m not in the mood for adrenaline and action, but there are a few things about missions which could be improved.
Security missions are the best of all mission types, but you mess around with standings due to diplomacy between NPC factions, which is an interesting idea, specially if we think about lore. Distribution missions are really boring, but some players choose them to raise standings with a corp or faction without affecting the others. Mining missions are more of the same, i don’t know if someone prefers to do them and why, but I don´t, specially if we think about miner gankers who don´t care if you are doing missions or, more clever, farming ore for your own. The last kind is research missions, if previous missions were boring, this is total passive and unprofitable.
Let’s speak clearly, missions are made by newbie players who don´t know better ways to do ISK (a couple of days tops), players trying to raise standings and, maybe, a really loner PvE lover.
So here is the suggestion:
Let players offer missions to other players. Let players belong to NPC corps and even factions. Let players promote in that NPC corp like current agents are.
How could this work:
When a player has reached certain level of standings with an NPC corp or faction a politics option is available to them. They can become officials. Player officials manage NPC agents, creating and editing missions for them. These missions have no explanation (to avoid bad use of in game texting) but they have an objective and location, as regular missions have.
Now security missions consist in clearing enemy NPC’s from certain regions, like current missions, but these NPC’s are generated periodically by higher ranked politics of the other factions. I’ll talk about this further. Militar missions consist in PvP missions to keep hi-sec space safe and transitable, for example pursuing criminals or rogue players, or even guard strategic locations (like Jita’s gates). Everything is planned by officials and their superior ranks.
Distribution missions are the same but this time you carry other players cargo. Players can hire hauling player corps services as always or NPC missions pool. There has not to be too much competition, because these missions can have a cap at 10k m³ and/or 20 mil est price, for example, and cargo won´t have insurance, but in the market there can be an embedded option to bring bought items that way when buying remotely. Also a cargo can´’t be hauled in a ship which est value is lesser then a 20% of cargo, so auto pirating is avoided. Lastly, a sub-type mission for distribution can be “escort mission”. A group of players can accept a mission where one will act as hauler and the other one will escort the transport. These missions can accept more cargo and even more escort players who will split the reward (payed by the contractor player). Again, cargo won’t be inssured.
Mining missions may work for a “federal deposit”. Federal deposit will be (in time) a huge deposit of minerals with an average market price plus a modification of ±10% price controlled by high ranked polititicians of that corp or faction. This “federal deposit” is actually a sell order. Now this is delicate. Players who complete this missions will be paid when federal reserve is being sold at a price of 99% of the sold ore, and corp members will receive the other 1%. As mentioned, the price will be controlled by the system and will change over time increasing or decreasing according to the current average price. The formula es quite simple: New price = OV * OP / TV + NV * NP / TV where OV (old volume) is the amount of ore being sold before new calculation, NV (new volume) is the amount of ore being added to the federal deposit, TV (total volume) is the sum of both, OP (old price) is the prize of the ore unit being sold before the new calculation and NP is the current average prize of ore. So if current federal deposit sell order is 1 billion ore at 100 ISK unit, and we add 20m ore at 105 average prize in the market right now, the new order will be 1,020,000,000 units of ore at 100.10 ISK. (100.098039 exactly). So every ammount and prize change must be done when new ammount is at least 1% of current ammount, keeping it in a hidden deposit until it reaches this ammount. Now this would have multiple effects: first of all players will gain standings towards that corp plus the value of the ore mined when it is sold (it will be at some point) at a better prize than fighting against the market (and it will be automatic, no need to check market every few hours), but they will have to wait to receive the money until ore is sold. Second and more important, this will work as a market balancer avoiding the reachest players in the game act as a monopoly. Every time there is a huge battle where tons of material is lost buyers will buy all other players orders until they start buying from federal reserve, and until this is totally sold (and mission players receive their ISK at a nice price) monopolists won’t be able to “legally scam” other players with inflated prices, allowing a faster recovery of goods. So this will work as a real federal reserve when wall street falls.
More kinds of missions can be done under this system of player missions. These missions won’t be repetitive and will affect other players activities, plus some players will want to do the politics career. But I have talked about officials only. Once an official has gained enough reputation points or standing as official, he or she can be promoted to Deputy. Deputies can see global information of the NPC corp and faction they belong and other “adversary” npc corp and factions. For instance, in security missions they can see how many enemy NPC fleets other corps are alive and list them in order of interest for officials to create missions. They also can create NPC fleets designed by higher ranked politics and deploy them in other faction space. NPC fleets generate a little income for the faction they belong just for being alive, as well as all the lootable and salvageable profit for the players they kill (they loot and salvage). This revenue will go to politics players of that corp and faction. The creation cost of the NPC fleets is payed by the system, and losing corps (those which NPC fleets are lesser, or die more often) will gain extra funds to keep things more balanced. In distribution missions, deputies can assign NPC escorts to their best officials so they can create safer missions for delicate hauling orders. A 99% of all the income in these missions will go for the players, and a 1% for the politics involved in distribution missions. In mining missions deputies can indicate, again by ordering a list, which minerals are more interesting for officials to create missions, as they can investigate the market to see the state of federal reserve of every ore order. As with distribution missions, a sub-mission can involve multiple players by acting as escorts.
Lastly all deputies can review their officials work statistics and give bonus ISK/standing/reputation points to their best workers (or his/her friends). Good officials who are not rewarded are free to stop working if they dont trust their superiors, and the whole faction will work worse.
Ministers are the deputies who have gain enough reputation to apply for the job. They are then elected between all officials and deputies every week/month. If they get the job (only 1 minister can exist for every NPC corp) they can manage higher politics levels on their corp. They can design NPC fleets on security corps and even pact treuces between factions which will reduce or temporarily disable enemy NPC fleets of that faction. On transport corps ministers can establish warded routes. These routes will have more concord presence temporarily (while the route lasts) even in low-sec or even null-sec systems. This can be configured in many ways, so I won’t explain too much, for example Concord on watched routes can protect only hauling players in mission, or only certain corp or ally faction, or everybody… Mining ministers can temporarily give access to temporal higher tier asteriod clusters for mission miners (or corp/faction/everybody) and they can setup the ±10% price variation of federal ore reserve (if 10% is too much, it can be less).
All ministers can review their corp deputies statistics and give a bonus to ISK/standing/reputation to their best workers.
Finally, the president is elected among all the deputies and ministers every week/month after they have gained enough standing/reputation and apply for the job. There can be an only president in every NPC faction. Presidents job is only to manage their underlings work as he can see all work statistics from officials to ministers. Then he can give bonuses to all of them personally and split the bonuses at his will. Plus during his/her period on the job can promote 2 players (at any rank until minister) and demote 2 players (at any rank until official). Actually he can exchange 2 players rank twice (or three times, or once…) every time he/she is elected.
All politics win ISK for doing their jobs. I have thought of a 1% of the total income missions players generate, but this can be changed. That 1% is splitted according to their rank and/or standing.
A lot of details can be changed, added or removed, but the politics career will give sense to the missions jobs and can benefit the relationships and estructure of players, giving some of them, for a certain time, a little power or relevance among the community. The possibilities are unlimited.